Treatment of tobacco addiction includes non-pharmacological and pharmacological methods (use of medicines). The best results are achieved through comprehensive proceedings. It is worth remembering that the average smoker lives 13-15 years shorter than non-smokers, and more than half of those addicted to tobacco die due to diseases caused by the addiction, e.g. lung cancer. Every year, nearly 85,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases.
A reduction in the risk of developing lung cancer is seen a few years after not smoking. According to British researchers, quitting smoking at age 60 gives a gain of an additional 3 years. Stopping smoking at age 50 allows you to live an average of 9 years longer. The article below provides tips for treating tobacco addiction and tips on how to quit smoking.
How to quit smoking – non-pharmacological methods It is estimated that non-pharmacological methods of treating tobacco addiction are effective in 7-20% of smokers addicted to tobacco.
Non-pharmacological methods of treating tobacco addiction include:
- education – specialized telephone consultations,
- educational brochures,
- dedicated websites,
- behavioral therapy – consists of short personal consultations, includes ways to eliminate protiton stimuli as well as relaxation techniques and motivational visits and counseling at the doctor’s office – e.g. a visit to a doctor family. Americans propose that as an introduction to the treatment of tobacco addiction, a health care representative (e.g. a doctor) who supports a person fighting addiction should use the 5A algorithm (Ask, Advice, Assess, Assist, Arrange – ask, advise, rate, help, organize next meet).
Treatment of tobacco addiction – pharmacological methods Pharmacological methods of treatment of tobacco addiction include the use of drugs. In the first line of action aimed at quitting smoking, so-called nicotine replacement therapy (NTZ). It includes chewing gum, transdermal patches, lozenges, inhalations, and the use of bupropion and varenicline.
Bupropion is an antidepressant that inhibits postsynaptic uptake of dopamine and noradrenaline, thereby increasing their concentration and reducing the feeling of pleasure after nicotine. Bupropion alleviates the symptoms of depressed mood in people struggling with addiction and reduces weight gain resulting from nicotine withdrawal – cheap snus
Varenicline is a partial antagonist of alpha4beta2-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors that exhibits antigonist activity in the presence of nicotine. The action of the substances leads to a reduction of craving for nicotine, weakens the desire to withdraw from abstinence in people quitting smoking, and reduces the “reward effect” after inflammation.
According to experts, treatment of tobacco addiction should start with the use of two preparations belonging to the so-called nicotine replacement therapy (NTZ). One of them should be a transdermal patch that allows you to constantly maintain nicotine levels in your body. If NTZ is ineffective, it is recommended to include bupropion.
Varenicline is not used together with nicotine replacement therapy or with bupropion. If the first line of pharmacological treatment is ineffective, a second line of tobacco addiction treatment based on clonidine or nortriptyline may be used to quit smoking. In recent years we have been observing the growing popularity of the so-called electronic cigarettes, which are commonly considered to be less harmful. It should be emphasized that currently there is a lack of reliable data from many years of observations allowing to assess the risk associated with e-cigarettes.